Tagged With conversions

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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I've long known that Google will convert between units if you type a query into the search engine (or your browser search bar), such as "50 miles kilometres". I hadn't realised that if you simply use an equals sign, Google will make an educated guess at the unit you're aiming for.

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Windows only: If you're looking for a fire-and-forget video converter to help stock your iPod, iPodME is a dead simple and lightweight tool for bulk converting your video files. iPodME is a completely portable standalone application—a GUI wrapper of the venerable ffmpeg for the curious among you. Operation is as simple as running the application, dragging and dropping a list of video files you want to convert onto it, and adjusting the basic video settings. You can select the video dimensions and the quality using the plain English metric provided—slow, quality or turbo, size for instance—to determine the conversion speed. If you dig into the options menu you can also tweak the process priority. The default for the application is to take advantage of idle cycles and back off when you're actually attempting to do work. Using the fast, quality setting and leaving it on the default of idle, it took approximately one hour to convert 20 episodes of Fraggle Rock into iPod-compatible MP4 files. An unexpected bonus in such a small package is support for SRT subtitle files, if you have them for your favourite foreign media you can embed them as you convert. If you'd like more fine tuned control over your video conversions, check out the candidates in the Hive Five Best Media Converters and the Top 10 Free Video Rippers, Encoders, and Converters to fulfil your tweaking needs.

iPodME

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Windows only: Free application Xrecode converts your audio files from popular formats to any of the same formats. While it may not have the complexity and advanced features of previously mentioned MediaEncoder Audio Edition, it's also less complicated to use—just drag files you want to convert into Xrecode, choose the output format, and get started. Xrecode also sets itself apart with smart options for splitting audio by CUE files or by silence—perfect for quickly splitting large audio files, like your vinyl-to-MP3 conversion. Xrecode is freeware, Windows only.

Xrecode

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We've previously pointed out ways to grab just the text from a PDF by emailing Adobe and using desktop apps, but having a web-based solution bookmarked could be pretty helpful as well. PDFTextOnline is a free, no-registration web app that quickly accepts files and pushes them to plain text, available for copying or saving as a .txt file. The added bonus is being able to change both the font and layout style of the exported text, along with access the bookmarks and properties from the original PDF. The web app claims to handle a number of foreign languages and fonts, so it might make for a good go-to-go solution if your PDF just won't open anywhere else.

PDFTextOnline

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Windows only: Free application ASCGEN, or Ascii Generator dotNET, takes in standard pictures and puts out images generated entirely from simple computer text. While free web apps like ASCII-O-Matic do a decent job with small face portraits, ASCGEN can handle larger files and offers the same kind of brightness, contrast and level modifications as standard image editors—it just changes letters instead of pixels. Once you're done tweaking, you can output to picture, text or HTML files. ASCGEN is a free download for Windows systems only.

Ascii Generator dotNET

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Convert any online video for your iPod, iPhone, cell phone, or pretty much any other mobile device with web site Movavi. We've seen similar conversion web sites in the past (perhaps most notably Zamzar), but Movavi is focused on video, its interface is cleaner and ad-free, and it offers cool options like merging several videos into one large movie and bookmarklets for converting new videos on-the-fly. If you've been looking for a way to get internet video (or even convert files from your desktop) on your mobile device, Movavi might be just the ticket.

Movavi